Deer Hunting Opportunities On The Right Side Of Montana
“Through research and hard work, going East can be a hidden gem.
Though I had my third Montana deer tag over the past seven or eight years in my pocket, I had yet to actually hunt deer in the Big Sky state. Each deer license was drawn in conjunction with my general elk tag, and I held it for the off chance I might come across a nice buck while chasing elk with my bow. That all changed in November of 2017 with a phone call from my good friend Robert Hanneman. He and his three sons were driving to eastern Montana for the last weekend of the general deer season, and he invited me and my son, Tripp, to go along. On a whim we made the nine-hour drive and met the Hannemans right at dark on Friday. With only a day-and-a-half to hunt, I had no illusions I would even see a buck, much less actually kill one.
I was proven wrong by 9 a.m. the next day when I took a handsome 4×4 buck. By the end of the day, Robert and his son Connor had shot nice bucks as well. Eastern Montana proved to be a gem that’s ready to be unearthed through research and hard work. Here’s how I did it.
Drawing A Tag
There are some areas in Montana that require a special draw tag to hunt, but large portions of the state are open to be hunted by anyone with a general tag. For those unfamiliar with hunting in Montana, all tags—even the general tags—are issued to non-residents through a drawing. There are a few options for getting a deer tag: the Deer Combination-General ($646) and Big Game Elk/Deer Combination-General ($1,108).
In 2022 the draw odds for the Deer Combo were 54 percent with 0 points and 40 percent with 1 point. The Big Game Elk Deer combo was 71 percent with 0 points and 35 percent with 1 point. For the past several years the Landowner Sponsored tags have been guaranteed, but there is a caveat. Those applying for these hunts must contract with an outfitter before applying, and these tag holders can hunt only on the deeded ground of that landowner. Bonus points are purchased at the time of applying for $50 and are worth the investment if you want to draw a tag in the next few years. It’s worth noting that in regards to bonus points for the general draw, points purchased go toward that year’s drawing.”
The full article can be found here.
Photo Credit: Original Author